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Powerlifting

as a hobby

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Powerlifting is a hobby that involves lifting the heaviest weight possible for one repetition in three lifts: the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift. Powerlifting can improve your strength, muscle mass, bone density, health, and confidence. To get started with powerlifting, you need to learn the proper form and technique for the lifts, find a suitable program and gym, and follow some basic principles of nutrition and recovery.

Helpful content to start powerlifting as a hobby

We aim to provide accurate information, but errors might be found. Always exercise judgment and discretion.

Videos

Short visual inspiration.

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YouTube | Samantha Eugenie – 1st Place 63 kg sub jr – EPF Classic Championships 2019 – 435 kg Total
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YouTube | How to Start Powerlifting (FOR BEGINNERS)
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YouTube | How To Start Powerlifting for Beginners – A Deep Dive
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YouTube | POWERLIFTING FOR BEGINNERS – First Meet

Podcasts

Play an episode while exploring the page.

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Spotify | Tips For Beginner Powerlifters
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Spotify | #97 How To Get Started In Powerlifting: A Beginners Guide

https://open.spotify.com/episode/55yNZtubAwrikwIdYdO5Oi?si=C2A1n_dZQXqeu6-C9DC1tA

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Spotify | #47 – Beginners and Powerlifting

About 40% of powerlifters are women.

Analysis of USA Powerlifting Federation Data From January 1, 2012–June 11, 2016

Terms

Basic lingo for orientation.

  • Powerlifting: A strength sport that consists of three main lifts: the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift. The goal is to lift the heaviest weight possible for one repetition in each lift.
  • The Big Three: The three main lifts in powerlifting: the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift.
  • One-Rep Max (1RM): The maximum amount of weight you can lift for a single repetition of a given exercise.
  • Powerlifting Meet: A competition where powerlifters perform the three main lifts and are judged by their total weight lifted. Each lifter has three attempts for each lift and must follow the rules and commands of the referees.
  • Squat: A lower body exercise that involves lowering your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor and then standing up with a loaded barbell on your back.
  • Bench Press: An upper body exercise that involves lying on a bench and pressing a loaded barbell upwards until your arms are fully extended.
  • Deadlift: A full-body exercise that involves lifting a loaded barbell from the floor to a standing position with your shoulders back and hips locked out.
  • Sumo Deadlift: A variation of the deadlift where the lifter stands with a wide stance and grips the barbell inside their legs. This reduces the range of motion and shifts more emphasis to the hips and legs.
  • Conventional Deadlift: A variation of the deadlift where the lifter stands with a narrow stance and grips the barbell outside their legs. This increases the range of motion and shifts more emphasis to the lower back and hamstrings.
  • Dropset: An extended set technique where you start with a weight and lift to failure, then you grab a lower weight and lift to failure again, effectively extending the set. You can drop the weight multiple times in a dropset.
  • Failure: The point at which you can’t lift another rep with proper form. Lifting to failure forces your muscles to adapt and grow, but it also requires a spotter and careful attention to technique.
  • Spotter: A person who assists you during a lift by providing support, safety, and encouragement. A spotter can help you unrack and rack the barbell, catch it if you fail, or give you a slight push if you get stuck.
  • Rack: A metal frame that holds the barbell at a certain height for you to unrack and rack it before and after a lift. There are different types of racks for different lifts, such as squat racks, bench racks, or power racks.
  • Lifting Belt: A thick belt that you wear around your waist to increase intra-abdominal pressure and stabilize your core during heavy lifts. A lifting belt can help you lift more weight and prevent injuries, but it should not be used as a crutch or worn too tightly.
  • Lifting Shoes: Specialized shoes that have a hard sole and a raised heel to improve stability and mobility during lifts. Lifting shoes can help you squat deeper, keep your balance, and transfer force more efficiently. They are not necessary for beginners, but they can be beneficial for intermediate or advanced lifters.
  • Chalk: A substance that you apply to your hands to improve grip and prevent slipping during lifts. Chalk can help you hold onto the barbell better and prevent blisters or calluses. It is usually allowed in most gyms and competitions, but some may require liquid chalk instead of powder chalk.

How to start powerlifting as a hobby

First moves for getting acquainted and breaking the ice.

  • Watch YouTube videos and listen to podcasts for inspiration and familiarization.
  • Go over the basic terms.
  • Before you hit the weights, you can do some bodyweight exercises that mimic the movements and muscles involved in the main lifts, such as squats, lunges, push-ups, dips, glute bridges, etc. This will help you prepare your body and mind for powerlifting and avoid injuries.
  • Powerlifting itself isn’t something easy or recommended to start at home, so your next move will probably be to find a gym. You will need access to a barbell, plates, a power rack, and a bench to perform the main lifts safely and effectively. It is also best to have a spotter with you.
  • In your research for a gym, you can look for one that offers powerlifting coaching or guidance. You can also search for coaches on websites such as the United States Powerlifting Association.
  • You don’t have to inquire about powerlifting on your first visit to the gym. You can do some regular exercise and watch other weightlifters to get familiar and gain confidence. You can also introduce yourself to other lifters and staff and ask them if they have any tips or advice for a beginner.
  • If you can’t find a coach, you can find someone to simply spot you, follow YouTube tutorials, and use the StrongLifts Weight Lifting app for training plans and tracking.

Books

Get read(y).

Powerlifting is a sport that challenges you to grow and improve constantly. There is always room for improvement in powerlifting, whether it’s adding more weight to the bar, refining your technique, optimizing your nutrition and recovery, or developing your mindset. Powerlifting also teaches you valuable life skills and lessons, such as discipline, patience, perseverance, goal-setting, problem-solving, self-awareness, and humility.

How-tos

Step-by-step tutorials.

Articles

Further reading.

Websites

Go-tos for information.

Powerlifting can improve your physical and mental health in many ways, such as building muscle, burning fat, strengthening your bones and joints, improving your posture and mobility, boosting your metabolism and immune system, preventing and treating various diseases and injuries, enhancing your athletic performance and functional abilities, increasing your confidence and self-esteem, reducing your stress and anxiety, and more.

Movies

Nothing like a film for inspiration.

FAQS

Get a clue.

What is powerlifting?

Powerlifting is a strength sport that consists of three main lifts: the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift. The goal is to lift the heaviest weight possible for one repetition in each lift. Powerlifters compete in weight classes and age categories, and follow the rules and commands of referees.

What are the benefits of powerlifting?

Powerlifting has many benefits for your physical and mental health. It can help you build muscle, burn fat, strengthen your bones and joints, improve your posture and mobility, boost your metabolism and immune system, prevent and treat various diseases and injuries, enhance your athletic performance and functional abilities, increase your confidence and self-esteem, reduce your stress and anxiety, and more.

What are the risks of powerlifting?

Powerlifting is not without risks. It can cause acute or chronic injuries if you use improper technique, overload your body, neglect your recovery, or ignore pain signals. It can also lead to overtraining syndrome if you train too hard, too often, or too long without adequate rest and nutrition. It can also affect your hormonal balance, sleep quality, mood, and motivation if you don’t manage your stress levels and mental health.

Is powerlifting only for men?

No, powerlifting is not only for men. Women can also participate and excel in powerlifting, and there are many female powerlifters who have achieved impressive results and records in the sport. In fact, about 40% of powerlifters are women.

Can I start lifting right away or do I need to prepare my body?

You can start lifting right away, as long as you use proper technique, appropriate weight, and adequate recovery. You don’t need to prepare your body with any specific exercises or routines before you start powerlifting.

What is the difference between weightlifting and powerlifting?

Weightlifting and powerlifting are both sports that involve lifting weights, but they have different exercises and objectives. Weightlifting consists of two lifts: the snatch and the clean and jerk. The goal of weightlifting is to lift the heaviest weight possible overhead in one or two movements. Weightlifting requires a lot of technique, speed, flexibility and explosive power. Powerlifting consists of three lifts: the back squat, the bench press and the deadlift. The goal of powerlifting is to lift the heaviest weight possible for one repetition in each lift. Powerlifting requires a lot of strength, stability and muscular force.

Are powerlifters necessarily very muscular?

Powerlifters are not necessarily very muscular. Powerlifting is a sport that focuses on lifting the heaviest weight possible for one repetition in three lifts: back squat, bench press and deadlift. The main factor that determines how much weight a powerlifter can lift is their strength, which is influenced by many factors such as genetics, training, nutrition and recovery. Muscle size is only one of these factors, and it does not always correlate with strength. Some powerlifters may have more muscle mass than others, but that does not mean they are stronger or better at powerlifting.

I’m a woman, will I get very muscular as a powerlifter?

Women will not get very muscular as a powerlifter unless they specifically train and eat for that goal. Women have lower levels of testosterone than men, which is the main hormone that regulates muscle growth. Women also have different body proportions and fat distribution than men, which affect how their muscles look. Therefore, women who powerlift will not look like men who powerlift, but rather develop a strong and athletic physique that suits their individual body type. Watch Samantha Eugenie.

Can you powerlift by yourself, or do you need someone to watch you?

You can powerlift by yourself, but it is safer and more effective to have someone to watch you. Having a spotter or a coach can help you with checking your form and technique, helping you lift the weight, motivating you and encouraging you, and keeping track of your program. If you don’t have a spotter or a coach, you can still powerlift by yourself, but you should take some precautions such as using a power rack with safety pins, using collars or clips to secure the plates, starting with lighter weights and gradually increasing them, listening to your body and stopping if you feel any pain or fatigue, and recording your lifts with a camera or a phone and reviewing them later.

What equipment do I need to buy before my first powerlifting lesson?

You don’t need to buy any equipment before your first powerlifting lesson, as most gyms will provide the basic equipment you need, such as a barbell, plates, a power rack and a bench.

How can I find a powerlifting coach?

Ask around your local gym or powerlifting community for recommendations or referrals, or look online for coaches who have a powerlifting or strength and conditioning certification on websites such as the United States Powerlifting Association.

Apps

Smart assistance.

Powerlifting is a sport that connects you with others who share your passion and vision. Powerlifting can help you find a supportive network of coaches, mentors, friends, and peers who can help you along your journey. Powerlifting can also help you inspire others with your story and achievements. Powerlifting can also help you contribute to society by raising funds or awareness for various causes or charities.

Products

Essentials to have.

Courses

Get smart.

Near You

Get together.

Powerlifting is a sport that welcomes and celebrates diversity and inclusion. There are powerlifting federations and categories for different genders, ages, abilities, and preferences. There are also powerlifting communities and events that support various causes and movements, such as LGBTQ+, women’s empowerment, mental health awareness, environmental protection, and more.

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Tips

Additional advice for beginners.